Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review: HAN SOLO #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon. Visit "Star Wars Central" review page here.]

WRITER: Marjorie Liu
ART: Mark Brooks
COLORS: Sonia Oback
LETTERS: VC's Joe Caramagna
COVER: Lee Bermejo
VARIANT COVERS: Mike Allred; John Cassaday; John Tyler Christopher; Scott Koblish; Pepe Larraz; Phil Noto
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2016)

Rated “T+”

“Part 1”

Everyone's favorite scruffy smuggler, Han Solo, now has his own comic book as part of Marvel Comics' recently launched line of Star Wars comic books.  A five-issue miniseries, Han Solo is written by Marjorie Liu; drawn by Mark Brooks; colored by Sonia Oback; and lettered by Joe Caramagna.

Han Solo #1 opens between the events depicted in the films, Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980).  Han Solo needs to take on some smuggling jobs in order to pay his debt to crime lord, Jabba the Hutt, but Han has been feeling kind of strange.  Every job offer seems wrong, so Chewbacca says that Han is spooked.  Then, Han gets a call from Princess Leia Organa, delivered in a most peculiar manner.  Her request involves “The Dragon Void Run,” a race Han Solo has always wanted to enter, just not like this.

I have to admit that I have not been crazy about all the new Star Wars comic books that Marvel Comics has released since the beginning of 2015.  The Chewbacca miniseries and that awful C-3PO one-shot come to mind.  However, Han Solo, judging from the first issue, seems like it will be a winner.

I think that this “new hope” begins with writer Marjorie Liu (Monstress), who captures the essence of Han Solo.  He is a loner, used to looking out for himself, but, in spite of his protestations, he knows what's right and wrong.  He balances a sense of justice or “moral compass” with the desire to survive and thrive.  He can look out for number one and also help his friends.  There is tension in this balance – an ebb and flow, a constant tug between me-first and taking-one-for-the-team.  When a writer can capture this furious conflict within Han Solo, she is halfway to writing an engaging, intriguing, and truly enjoyable Han Solo comic book.

Artist Mark Brooks strengthens this series' potential.  He fills the pages with evocative backgrounds that recall the original Star Wars film trilogy.  Brooks creates stylish space ships and an alien menagerie that gathers familiar Star Wars people and beings, but also adds some bits from his own imagination.  Sonia Oback gives Brooks' art a look similar to classic sci-fi film and science fiction art.

I pretended that I was not expecting a lot from this Han Solo miniseries, but I am expecting this to be really good.  So far, so good...


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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